By Leo Igwe
Some bloodthirsty Muslims, who wanted to please Allah by all means and get into the good books of Prophet Muhammad, have been on rampage in Northern Nigeria. The savage quest by those who are drunk with ‘Allah delusion’ and who are desperate to inherit the phantom paradise that was promised to the Ummah in the afterlife has been in obvious display in the past weeks. The Mujahidin of northern Nigeria have been on the loose and the horrific consequences of their actions are graphic and glaring.
The criminal silence of the Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, the Kano state Governor, Umar Ganduje and the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi 11 is deafening and sends worrisome signals about the threat of Islamic fanaticism in the region. Within a week, Christians have been murdered in different states across northern Nigeria in very gruesome ways for the supposed crime of blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad. The christian woman is the latest. But is she going to be the last?
The government of Nigeria tells us that Boko Haram militants have been consigned to the Sambisa forest. No, they have not. Boko Haramism has diffused and what we have witnessed in Kano and Niger states is a testament to the diffusion.
This is evident in the pattern of killings in the two states and the reactions to these atrocities. Now why is beheading for prophet Muhammad a religious slippery slope and a worrisome development for Nigeria? Let us further examine this case that happened in Kano. The woman was decapitated because the killers believed that chopping off the head compensated for the offense which she committed, the offense of ‘insulting’ and making disparaging statements about the messenger of Allah.
The belief that those who insult prophet Muhammad should be executed is not a minority view that is shared by a fanatical fringe in the muslim community. It is a widespread opinion that is strongly entertained by Islamic moderates and fanatics alike. That is why the killing of the woman in Kano was not the action of one individual or a crazy few. The beheading was not a secret operation but an open and public ritual. The head of the woman was paraded publicly in an environment where the perpetrators knew that they would get away with such deeds. And they did. The Mujahidin also got away with murdering another christian in Niger State. They will still get away with such atrocities in another Muslim majority state, then in another sharia state another time.
The rampaging soldiers of Allah got away with this heinous crime in the past, in the case of Gideon Akaluka in the 90s and are likely to get away with it again in the future because impunity is entrenched in muslim communities in northern Nigeria. Extremism is ubiquitous and the political will to tackle this cancerous trend is lacking.
Islam in Northern Nigeria has caved in to the forces of bigotry. The enforcement of sharia law has created an atmosphere of impunity and intolerance. There is no doubt that some Muslims have condemned the beheading of the woman in Kano and the killings in Niger state. However, the weight of condemnation cannot be matched with the apparent endorsement of the murder from the rest of the population particularly those who have refused to express their disapproval of these murderous activities and those who think it is too ‘dangerous’ to speak out and express their outrage.
So where are the moderate muslims? Why are they reluctant to speak out against the beheading of the woman in Kano?
Why are they not marching on the streets in protest? Where are the Ulamas and the Sheikhs? Why are they silent?
Why has the Sultan of Sokoto not made any statement? Why is the Emir of Kano keeping quiet? Why has he not convened a press conference to condemn this atrocious act that took place in his emirate? I mean what are the so-called progressive and moderate Islamic organisations doing? Where are the advocates of islam-is-a-religion-of-peace narrative? Why have they not issued statements to denounce these acts of religious war, recklessness and barbarism?
Nigeria needs a critical mass of active moderate and progressive minded Muslims to speak out openly and publicly against violent reactions to supposed insults on prophet Muhammad, Allah or Islam. These insane behaviors of Islamic jihadists must stop. These manifestations of Islamic religious insanity must end. People who murder innocent citizens for blasphemy must be punished because they are criminals and should be put behind bars. Moderate Muslims need to rally and act NOW to stop and prevent a recurrence of this savagery so that peace, freedom and justice would reign in Northern Nigeria.